What Is the BPI Certification and Why Is It Important for Compostable Products?

5 min read

What Is the BPI Certification and Why Is It Important for Compostable Products?

Even if someone is not very environmentally conscience, chances are that they have seen the BPI symbol somewhere in their life. Many of them, however, likely do not know what it stands for or represents. That is why this article is here to explore exactly what the BPI symbol means, how the certification process works, and why this is an important thing when it comes to compostable products.

What Is BPI Certification?

There are two main different kinds of BPI certification that someone can come across in their life. One of the BPI certifications is from the Building Performance Institute and monitors the quality of home performance contractors.

The other BPI certification, which is the one that we will be talking about in this article, is from the Biodegradable Products Institute and refers to the quality of compostable products. Getting awarded the BPI certification means that a product has gone through a rigorous testing process that has been confirmed to meet the compostable standards of the organization.

"Getting awarded the BPI certification means that a product has gone through a rigorous testing process that has been confirmed to meet the compostable standards of the organization."

How Does a Product Get BPI Certified?

In order for a company to get their product BPI certified, there are five different steps that they must go through. These steps are set up to ensure that the process is rigorous enough that consumers can be confident in knowing that products like their BPI certified K-Cups really are environmentally friendly.

The first of the steps involves using the ASTM standard to get the product tested. This can be done by submitting the product to one of the BPI approved labs, which will apply the thousands of ASTM testing standards to each element of the product to find out if they meet the criteria or not. Once the company receives their test results back from ASTM, they can move on to the second step of the process.

The second step is in place to protect the company and their products during the certification process. Since various organizations are going to have unrestricted access to the knowledge of materials and processes used in the creation of the product, there needs to be a way to ensure that this information does not get leaked to anyone. That is why the second step of the process involves signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that involves the company, BPI, and their partner association DIN CERTCO.

The NDA is signed once the applicants receive their testing results or can be signed beforehand if they are in need of assistance with the testing schemes. Once the NDA has been signed by all parties, the company then gives complete product descriptions and formulation disclosures to BPI, which include information like maximum thicknesses and more.

The third step of this certification process involves BPI taking all of the information that was provided to them by the company, including the test results, and sending it off to DIN CERTCO. It is then the job of DIN CERTCO to look through all of it and independently approve it.

After all of these steps have been completed, the hard part of the certification process is officially over, but there are still two more steps that the company needs to go through. The fourth step is the signing of a licensing agreement between BPI and the company. This licensing agreements give the applicant permission to put the compostable logo onto their product packaging and promotional material, along with various other BPI trademarks. These licensing agreements are valid for three years, at which point they will need to be renewed.

The last step of the certification process involved the company preparing various artwork samples of their product packaging, advertising materials, and web pages, so that BPI can see how the compostable logo will be used. After this step has been completed, the company is officially done with the certification process and are now free to promote their newly BPI certified product.

"America's waste is being composted at a rate of only 8.9%, while recycling makes up 25.8%, and 52.5% ends up going to the landfill. This is having a disastrous effect on our environment and is causing a national crisis due to the lack of space remaining in landfills."

Why Is BPI Certification Important for Compostable Products?

A company getting BPI certification for their product is not a small feat. it is something that can have a massive impact on how consumers view the product, which often results in an increase or decrease in sales numbers. This is because BPI is the leader of certified compostable products and packaging in all of North America. But aside from the financial benefits of BPI certification, there is also a large environmental benefit as well.

Federal studies have shown that America's waste is being composted at a rate of only 8.9%, while recycling makes up 25.8%, and 52.5% ends up going to the landfill. This is having a disastrous effect on our environment and is causing a national crisis due to the lack of space remaining in landfills.

In order to try to make up for this, companies need to start creating products and packaging that is more environmentally friendly such as recyclable K-Cups and compostable K-Cups. However, some companies are not going far enough with their products and packaging in terms of how easily it can be composted, especially when it comes to food and beverage products.

When consumers have food and beverage packaging, it is extremely likely that the packaging will contain food scraps when they are ready to throw it out. So if the packaging is not compostable, then those food scraps are often not being put into the proper bin, which is one of the leading causes of only 5.3% of all food scraps being composted in the United States. If companies are able to create food and beverage packaging that is very clearly compostable, then both the packaging and the food scraps can be thrown out together into the compost bin, ensuring that they get diverted to a compost center rather than a landfill.

The problem arises when it is not made clear enough to customers that the product packaging is compostable. That is where the BPI certification compostable logo comes in handy. This obvious symbol on the packaging will help consumers instantly know that this is a product that has gone through rigorous testing and has been cleared to be composted. So, when consumers see the BPI certified Glorybrew K-Cups, they can be confident that they are allowed to throw them into the compost bin once they are done and help out the environment.

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